Bullet hell is a standard nowadays but back in the Space Invaders era there simply wasn’t the graphics muscle to move that many things at once on the screen. While vector graphics could get away with a lot (if you ever get a chance to play Tac Scan on the original hardware, jump at it) early spite-based games needed to be a little more focused on killing the player. Super Crome: Bullet Purgatory is a shooter that takes the look of the earliest 80s arcade games and fuses it to the processing power of today to create widescreen nightmare encounters with enemies who aren’t shy on spamming the screen with firepower. It’s not Touhou-levels of density, because the game wants you to spend as much focus on shooting as dodging, so the enemies are tough enough to withstand a good pounding.
When I played this back at Boston FIG I enjoyed the balance between Super Crome’s old- and new-school sensibilities, and it won’t be too much longer before before it’s released in Early Access format for everyone to see. The version I played only had the endless Arcade mode, which runs forever getting more difficult until eventually the player is completely overwhelmed, but during Early Access it will be adding the Story mode with a set number of levels and a space station where you can chat with NPCs. Plus tons of other goodies, of course. Super Crome: Bullet Purgatory is releasing in a broad “Q1 2019” window, but for now here’s a fresh trailer to get a sense of the low-fi havoc to come.